April 25, 2000

Washington, DC -- Israeli Minister of Education Yossi Sarid marked the 85th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide Monday, pointedly drawing attention to the significance of his official presence at the memorial gathering in Jerusalem.

In a powerfully worded statement released in Washington, DC by the Armenian National Institute, the Minister said, “For many years, too many years, you were alone on your Memorial Day. I am aware of the special significance of my presence here today, along with other Israelis. Today perhaps for the first time, you are less alone.” He stated also: “I am here, with you, as a human being, as a Jew, as an Israeli, and as Education Minister of the State of Israel.”

The Minister also noted that it was a Jewish ambassador of America to Turkey, Henry Morgenthau III who in 1915 was among the first and most determined in telling the world about the massacres, and ultimately, genocide then taking place in Armenia.

“The Minister’s statement in Jerusalem on Memorial Day is deeply moving, and at the same time, most encouraging to Armenians seeking worldwide affirmation of the Armenian Genocide,” said Robert A. Kaloosdian, Chairman of the Armenian National Institute (ANI) Board of Governors. “Last April, an ANI delegation traveled to Armenia with the grandson and great-grandsons of Ambassador Morgenthau, and they were widely honored there. We are pleased that the Israeli administration also remembers Ambassador Morgenthau and publicly applauds those, like him, who speak out against genocide, this crime against all humanity.”

The Minister of Education concluded his statement with a commitment to ensure that the Armenian Genocide be included in the Israeli secondary school history curriculum. Its inclusion has previously been blocked by the foreign ministry, which fears possible repercussions on Israel’s relations with Turkey. The current Turkish government continues to deny the Armenian Genocide of 1915.

The Armenian National Institute is dedicated to the study, research, and affirmation of the Armenian Genocide.